Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)
Last night, I awoke in the darkness, and for some reason, an ugly, devilish face appeared in my thoughts. My instant reaction, even though I was coming out of a deep sleep, was to ask the Lord to purify my thoughts.
Nights can be tough, because our minds are processing things we’ve taken in through the day, and because we’re not fully conscious, we’re more vulnerable to attacks of the devil. That’s why it’s important that we feed our minds with the word of God on a daily basis, so that even when we are at our most vulnerable, our minds will default to the strength that we have in Him and His word.
In today’s world, we don’t even realize how much spiritual junk and filth we are exposed to on an ongoing basis. It is coming at us from all directions: TV, radio, billboards, video games and even on DVD jackets. A year ago, just before Halloween, I was in Walmart and when I approached the checkout stand, I was shocked by the DVDs that were displayed there. They were all horror movies, and the wording and graphics came straight from hell…in fact, I believe the name of one of the movies was something like, “Straight to Hell.” Why on earth would we want ourselves and our children to be exposed to that? I promptly spoke to the manager and asked him to remove them and put them back in the DVD section where they belonged. (Actually, they belong nowhere but the dumpster, but that’s unrealistic.)
When we are exposed to this kind of evil, we can’t help but be affected. As I’ve told my children over and over, our brains are just like computers except for one thing: they don’t have a delete key. Everything we see is stored in our brains, and just when we least expect it, those images that are stored come out and float before our eyes…often in the darkest hours of the night.
This is when we need to go to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to purify our minds. He alone is the delete key. He alone can cleanse us and purify us from the filth and frightening images that are prevalent in our world, and that enter our minds without consent. As the verse above states, when we fix our hope on Him, we are purified, just as He Himself is pure. When we hope in Christ, it means we have faith that He will change us to be like Him.
Purity of mind equals peace of mind. When our minds are not pure of the filth of the world, we allow the effects of the evil to eat away at our spirits, just as decay eats away at a tooth. When we don’t consciously ask Christ to purify our minds, we leave ourselves open to things like worry, anxiety, fear, lust, stress, mistrust and anger. But when we fix our hope on Him, we can live in an attitude of peace and trust.